Located at an elevation of 5,430 and just 25 miles from Denver, Boulder is the most populous city in Boulder County with about 100,000 residents. Surrounded by over 36,000 acres of open space, it is a very popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts including runners, mountain bikers, rock climbers and hikers.
Boulder consistently ranks high as one of the country's best cities for quality of life, commerce and health. In 2009, Forbes.com ranked Boulder as the "Top Town to Live Well" and in 2010 it ranked as America's "Brainiest" city on Portfolio.com. Bon Appetite named Boulder as 2010's "Foodiest Town in America" and it was selected as the "2nd Healthiest Town in the US" by Men's Health magazine.
The University of Colorado, the state's flagship school, opened in Boulder in 1877. It continues to be a magnet for in-state and out-of-state students alike. The University continues to blossom in size and academic quality with strong programs in the sciences, engineering, business, law, arts, humanities education and more.
Boulder's Culture and Arts community thrives with diversity, and is home to a wide variety of art galleries, festivals, music, and theatre events. Be sure to catch The Boulder International Film Festival each February featuring local and international films, The Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art.
Boulder has a rather dry climate typical of much of the state, and receives upwards of 300 sunny or mostly sunny days each year. Winters are cool, with highs averaging in the mid to upper 40s °F. Lows may plummet below 0 °F on a few nights per year, but extended subzero cold is uncommon. The mountains to the west often dry out the air passing over the Front Range, shielding the city from precipitation in winter, though heavy snowfalls do occur occasionally. Snowfall averages 85 inches per season, but snow depth is usually shallow; a strong sunlight at such a high elevation can quickly melt snow cover during the day. Occasionally, Chinook winds bring rapid warm-ups. Summers are hot and dry, with 27 days reaching 90 °F (32 °C) or above. Nights are significantly cooler than days year-round due to the dry climate and high elevation.